McKellen: Playing the Part

Documentary UK 2017

"Human beings act all the time. We never show all of ourselves to others, only a part." This is how Ian McKellen, 78, called "Sir" since he was knighted in 1990 for his merits as an actor, mocks himself in this documentary, which is a long and personal interview. He talks about his childhood, his years as a young man at prestigious Cambridge University, his stage debut and his successes as a Shakespearean actor in the National Theatre Company, under the guidance of Laurence Olivier. He also describes his successful movie career, which earned him two Oscar nominations for the gay cult classic Gods and Monsters (its success "made me feel better more than anything else," he says) and The Lord of the Rings, where he plays Gandalf. But he also opens up about the discovery of his homosexuality at a young age and his coming out at the age of 49, after which he took his place on the front line in the fight against discrimination.

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